Downtown Iola merchants had some unexpected visitors bright and early at the kickoff of the annual sidewalk sale Friday.
Iola Street and Alley workers began a chip-seal project on South Jefferson and South Street during the first hour of the sale. Business owners, who brought merchandise outdoors, were not expecting the roadwork to take place that day.
“It’s a little frustrating with the lack of communication,” Kelly Sigg, Audacious Boutique owner, said. “We should have been notified.”
Cars along Jefferson and South streets were moved.
Corey Schinstock, assistant city administrator, said cars were towed, at no charge to the owners, to other nearby parking spaces not affected by the chip-seal work.
Teresa Ross, The Funkie Monkey owner, didn’t realize the work was happening Friday and almost had her own car towed.
“Of all days, they decide to do it today,” Ross said. “We hardly have any parking as it is.”
Ross suggested there be more notification to business owners.
“This wasn’t the only street in Iola that could have been worked on,” Sigg said. “They could have gone somewhere else when they realized the sale was happening.”
Jerry Whitworth, owner of McGinty-Whitworth, said there wasn’t much the owners could do now that the project took place.
“What’s done is done,” Whitworth said. “There just needed to be more notification and better planning.”
Whitworth pointed out as cars drove down the freshly chipped roads dust was flying in the air on the outdoor merchandise.
The sidewalk sale will continue today from 9 a.m. into the afternoon. Participating stores are Audacious Boutique, McGinty-Whitworth, Town and Country, Funkie Monkey and Sophisticated Rose.
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